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Iconic Moments in Asia Cup History

By Vipin - August 25, 2023 - Last updated on Aug 25, 2023 06:31 PM
Iconic Moments in Asia Cup History

Asia Cup cricket is a tournament hosted by the Asian Cricket Council or ACC. Initially, it began in 1984 with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Sharjah. Gradually teams like Afghanistan, UAE and Hong Kong were added to the mix in a bid to give associate Asian nations more exposure. India and Sri Lanka have won the tournament 5 times each and there have been some moments that have been etched in the memory of every cricket fan and we have chosen 5 of many such moments for you. Sit back and take a dive in the history of Asia Cup.

1. India’s first ever title win – Asia Cup 1984:

The very first Asia Cup was played between India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and was staged in SharjahThe each team played one another once in a round robin league and the team with most wins was to be crowned the champions of Asia.

In the first ever Asia Cup game, Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 5 wickets. India in their first match took on Sri Lanka. The Lankans were bowled out for 96, Ranjan Madugalle top scored with 38. Chetan Sharma and Madan Lal both took 3 wickets a piece and debutant Manoj Prabhakar took 2/16 in his 10 overs. India chased the total easily with Surinder Khanna making 51* and Ghulam Parkar making 32* and registered a 10-wicket win.

asia cup 84

The third match of the tournament saw India and Pakistan lock horns. India batted first and scored 188/4 in allotted 46 overs. Surinder Khanna made another half-century in 56, Sandeep Patil scored 43 and Gavaskar made 36 down the order. Pakistan’s chase was derailed with Roger Binny taking 3/33 and Ravi Shastri taking 3/40. Mohsin Khan made 35 and there were 4 run outs in the Pakistani innings.

India won both their matches and was crowned the winners of the very first Asia cup title. Surinder Khanna was named the man of the match and the player of the series.

2. Mendis destroys India in the final – Asia Cup 2008:

Ajantha Mendis was ‘the first’ modern mystery bowler to bamboozle batsmen in 2008. He especially tormented the Indians during that period. His best came against the Indians in the finals of the Asia Cup 2008.

Sri Lanka batted first after India put them in and made 273 all out. Sanath Jayasuriya made a brilliant 125 and Dilshan made 56 to take Sri Lanka to a good total. The pitch at the National Stadium, Karachi was not meant to turn much and play out evenly. But India, unfortunately, ran into a rampaging Ajantha Mendis.


The Indian batsmen had no idea where the ball would turn and this made them play wrong shots to most of Mendis’ delivery. He picked up 6/13 and most of his wickets were top order batsmen. Only Sehwag who got 60 and Dhoni who scored 49 showed some defense or aggression against his bowling.

India were bowled out for 173 in the 40th over and lost the final match by 100 runs. Ajantha Mendis was declared both the Man of the match and Man of the series. It was not just Mendis, quite a few Rookies have troubled India

3. War of words between Harbhajan Singh and Shoaib Akhtar

When India and Pakistan meet on the field, fireworks are always expected. And the audience is never left disappointed: there are fireworks from the bat and also verbal volleys that make the entertainment complete. The high-octane clash at Dambulla in the 2010 Asia Cup led to volatile situations on the field briefly.

Pakistan had posted 267 on the board which India chased down courtesy of half-centuries from Gambhir and Dhoni. But the match went right down to the wire with India winning with just one ball to spare.


With 7 runs required off 7 balls and Akhtar bowling at Harbhajan Singh, the Turbanator had a wild swish outside the off-stump and missed the ball by some distance. A visibly frustrated Akhtar had a few words to say to Bhajji who retaliated in turn with expletives.

The duo had a go at each other in Punjabi leading to a brief escalation of tension. Rameez Raja who was on air said: "Few pleasantries being exchanged between Harbhajan and Shoaib Akhtar. Teams are on fire."

Umpire Billy Doctrove intervened in the end though Akhtar kept exchanging words with Bhajji.

4. Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th hundred and his last ODI match – Asia Cup 2012:

The Asia Cup 2012 brought us face to face with a milestone that was accomplished by a genius of a batsman. Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman in the history of the game to make 100 centuries in international cricket. His 49th century in ODIs against Bangladesh in a losing cause meant that he completed 100 centuries with 51 Test hundreds to his name.


The tournament also saw Sachin bid goodbye to a format that he has owned since his first century in 1994. His final match came against arch-rivals Pakistan, where he made 52 off 48 balls in a chase of 329 runs. India won the match thanks to a brilliant 183 by Virat Kohli.

5. Bangladesh gets their hearts broken – Asia Cup 2012:

It was a big occasion for the Bangladesh team, as they had reached the finals of the Asia Cup 2012 at home and was to face Pakistan. Bangladesh had beaten India and Sri Lanka on route to the finals while Pakistan had taken a pasting from India before their finals appearance.

Pakistan was put into bat on a difficult pitch by Bangladesh and their bowlers did not disappoint when they restricted Pakistan to just 236/9 in 50 overs. There were useful contributions from Mohd Hafeez (40) and Sarfraz Ahmed (46) and a couple of thirties from Umar Akmal and Hammad Azam.


Bangladesh knew that chasing even 236 won’t be easy for them against the spin of Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi. Tamim Iqbal gave them a decent start with an innings of 60, but wickets at regular intervals meant that run rate started to creep up and that’s when Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir Hossain got together to form a 90-run partnership.

But with the wicket of Shakib for 68, it was upto Mahmudullah and Mashrafe to take them home. They needed 23 off 18, but somehow managed to fall short by 2 runs in the end and Pakistan was crowned the champions of Asia Cup 2012. Bangladeshi players had tears flowing from their eyes and every Bangladeshi fan present in the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur knew that this was their best chance to lift a major trophy and were in tears as well.

6. A typical Shahid Afridi innings defeats India -Asia Cup 2014:

Mirpur saw the high voltage clash between India and Pakistan in the 2014 edition of Asia Cup. India was led by Virat Kohli for the first time in a tournament and this was a crucial match in deciding the finalist for that edition.

India batted first and thanks to a start-stop performance of Indian batting, they eventually crawled to 245/8 in their 50 overs. Rohit Sharma made 56, Ambati Rayudu made 58 and Jadeja made a last-ditch push with 52*. Saeed Ajmal was the best bowler for Pakistan with 3/40 off his 10 overs and together with Mohd. Hafeez who took 2 wickets ensured that India was restricted to a manageable total.


Pakistan’s chase was anchored by Hafeez’s 75 runs and a 5th wicket 87-run stand with Shoaib Maqsood. Pakistan had slid to 113/4 when Hafeez and Maqsood got the equation down to 44 off 36 balls. But that is when both the batsmen got out in quick succession. Afridi showed good judgement and batted wisely with Umar Gul.

Finally, it came down to 9 off the last over, when Afridi decided to finish it in true Afridi style, hitting a four over extra cover and then finishing it off with a six over long on.

7. The Sehwag-Raina show

The 5th match played between India and Pakistan at Karachi in the 2008 Asia Cup was all what an India-Pakistan tie promises to be – runs, wickets, emotions and a great run chase in the end. Batting first, Pakistan posted a mammoth 299 on the board.

Shoaib Mallik, who was opening the batting, scored 125 off 199 balls and set the stage for a cracking game. India, in reply, dominated the bowling and chased down the total in 42.1 overs.


Virender Sehwag played a brilliant knock scoring 119 off 95 balls. Sehwag's innings was littered with 12 fours and 5 sixes as he hit deliveries to all parts of the ground. He was ably assisted by Suresh Raina who scored a 69-ball 84.

Sehwag and Raina shared a partnership of 198 runs. By the time Raina fell in the 28th over, India had raced to 210 and were well on the course of victory. Fireworks from the duo had left the Pakistani cricketers stunned and India chased down the total at a canter in the end.

Also Read: Shikhar Dhawan, the focus will be on these 5 players in the World Cup

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